A cardinal sin made by parents of young athletes hoping to play at the college level is presuming there is no harm in waiting to be recruited.
National Scouting Report scouts get glaring evidence of this each day with announcements across the country of freshman and sophomore athletes committing to colleges or coaches making scholarship offers to youngsters in the eighth, ninth or 10th grades.
Those news flashes are not imaginary. They are real indications to parents about the state of college recruiting today.
This past week, NSR’s Director of Lacrosse Scouting, Brendan Kennedy, posted a story on his Facebook page about a lacrosse player from the 2020 class committing to Penn State. Scott Woodcock, an NSR scout in Kansas City, also posted a story last week about a freshman who already has committed to play for the University of Arizona.
How did that happen? Simple. Those were not just good athletes. They were prospects known by coaches. And athletes are not college prospects until they are actually in the recruiting process.
So, how early is early? When should your child start the process? It is not too early for your child to begin the recruiting process if scholarships are being offered by coaches in his/her sport and class.
To boil it down to the simplest denominator, here are four key reasons parents should not wait to start their athletes in the recruiting process:
- More white boards: Every day you wait, another athlete in your child’s class is getting noticed by a college coach. The sad thing is this: Many times athletes who go on white boards first are not as talented as your athlete. The difference? Those families did not wait and you did, which points to the irrefutable fact that there is no advantage to waiting.
- More evaluations: The longer your athlete is in the process, the better the chances are that he or she will be noticed and evaluated. Obviously, the more schools that evaluate your athlete, the more chances he or she has of being formally recruited.
- More relationships: Recruiting is all about relationships. The more time your child has to build trusting relationships with college coaches, the more offers he or she is likely to receive. This gives your athlete leverage with coaches and creates demand for his or her athletic services. So, it make sense that the longer families wait, the fewer opportunities their athletes will have to build solid relationships with coaches.
- More options: When families choose to wait to start the recruiting process, the fewer options they are likely to have as signing dates approach. Other prospects who started the process early will have filled the roster spots which for which your athlete may have been considered. That is a losing scenario any way you look at it.